Although there is no excuse for violence, there may very well be a unique cause for it. In fact, studies have shown that as many as one in four victims of violent crime report being attacked by someone who had been drinking. This is especially prevalent in domestic violence cases, where emotions can be escalated by alcohol, or illegal drugs, and lead to serious injuries or even death, in some cases. Domestic disputes are a common legal topic, and it’s more surprising when alcohol or drugs aren’t involved in a particular case.
Of course, “domestic violence” is an umbrella term that could mean any number of violent offenses against a spouse, family member, or other person living in the same residence. There are so many different crimes that can be committed, and some are certainly more common than others. It’s not an exact science, but there are definitely some notable coincidences that should be considered.
THE MOST COMMON OFFENSES
In addition to domestic violence, other crimes that top the list among drug and alcohol abusers include:
- Sexual violence- as a result of increased aggression and sex drive, as well as lowered inhibitions
- Aggravated assault- due to increased aggression
- Child abuse- due to increased aggression and knee-jerk reactions
- Robbery or theft- often due to lower inhibitions, usually due to the need for money
- Homicide- in the most severe cases, aggression can even result in the death of another individual
Basically, people who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol tend to lose their inhibitions, and thus will do whatever it takes to get what they want or think that they are owed. Domestic violence, such as physical violence or sexual assault of a spouse or partner, is quite common among those who are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The problem is that the conversation surrounding domestic violence has created a world where many victims don’t feel comfortable reaching out.
Imagine if every single domestic violence incident WAS reported. Now, think about how many of those cases are probably the result of drugs or alcohol. It’s easy to see that this is a serious issue.
WHY ALCOHOL AND DRUGS INCREASE CRIME
There are a number of factors at play when considering why people who are under the influence are more likely to commit violent crimes. First of all, alcohol lowers your sense of risk and restraint. This can make it difficult to resist the urge to be reckless or violent as an instant response to a situation or individual. When people are using alcohol or drugs, they aren’t in the capacity to focus on the moral right and wrong of the situation. They can only see the problem and impulsively jump on the first solution—which often leads to domestic violence.
Many illegal drugs, and even alcohol if enough is consumed, can create a sense of fearlessness and invincibility among abusers. This leads them to make rash judgments and poor decisions, and often without thinking of the consequences—or worse, not even thinking that there will be consequences for whatever they do.
Another reason that a lot of people commit violent crimes, and especially in domestic situations, is because many illegal substances, including alcohol, can cause some people to become inordinately angry or easily enraged. Aggression is a knee-jerk reaction, and with lowered inhibitions, it’s much more likely a default response by those who are under the influence when they feel attacked or otherwise put out.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you’re accused of a domestic violence charge, you need to hire a qualified lawyer that can help you navigate the tricky legal waters of alcohol and drug-related offenses. In many cases, there could be alternative punishment options available, such as being sent to a rehab or treatment program rather than facing actual jail time. However, these options may not be as readily available to everyone.
The problem with the legal process is that it penalizes substance abusers, who are actually addicted to the substance in most cases. Without a comprehensive solution that includes a rehabilitation program or an opportunity to heal and improve their life, many people will simply continue to use and re-offend, until they end up facing serious prison sentences due to the excess number of convictions on their record.
With a qualified criminal defense lawyer, you will be able to find the best course of action to fight your domestic violence case, and at the same time, get the help that you need. Alcohol and drugs are not the solution life’s problems, and there is a way to get out from under their grasp. Call a reputable domestic violence attorney if you are dealing with any kind of drug- and alcohol-related charges and get the outcome that you deserve.